Slain Port Elizabeth cop Constable Dwane Kemp (left) will be remembered as a patriot who died in the line of duty living his ultimate dream to protect communities from evil. Photo: Raahil Sain /ANA

PORT ELIZABETH - Slain Port Elizabeth policeman Dwane Kemp will be remembered as a patriot who died in the line of duty living his ultimate dream to serve and protect communities from evil, a memorial service for the fallen officer heard on Friday. 

The memorial service was held on Friday at NG Moeder Gemeente Church in North End. Kemp was shot dead this week while trying to foil an armed robbery at a Port Elizabeth bakery. 

The constable, 31, was remembered for having a captivating energy and confidence. 

Revered by his colleagues, he was always willing to help and Thursday would have marked his eighth year of service within the South African Police Force (SAPS).

Close friend and colleague, Constable Darren Grebe said it was always Kemp’s dream to join the Flying Squad Unit. 

Slain Port Elizabeth cop Constable Dwane Kemp will be remembered as a patriot who died in the line of duty living his ultimate dream to protect communities from evil. Photo: Raahil Sain /ANA

Grebe said Kemp loved the chase and at almost 2 meters tall with size 13 feet he was always willing to kick down doors and go beyond.

“'I just want to come to the Flying Squad' he told me and finally it happened. The man wanted to feel the Flying Squad feeling and he loved it,” said Grebe . 

Grebe said they had attended police college together and over the years they had become like brothers. 

Kemp’s work partner of two years, Constable Musa Hans, said that Kemp embodied a “bravado” and while tall and intimidating, he was most approachable.

Members from the Port Elizabeth Police Flying Squad grieve fallen cop Constable Dwane Kemp as his file is closed. Video: Raahil Sain/ANA 

Respected by his colleagues, he was remembered for his kind nature and corny jokes. Colleagues said that he had a gravitative personality and would be missed by all who knew him. 

There was not a dry eye in the church when Kemp’s wife, Candice, who is six months pregnant with their first child together, thanked SAPS for their ongoing support and love towards her family. 

She said that it was her husband’s dream to be dressed in blue and serve. 

She called him her hero and said that Kemp had chosen the name Colten for their unborn child. 

“To be a policeman is no easy task, it is a choice made everyday. The sacrifices that are made, the fears that are faced by the families and those brave men and women should never be understated,” she said. 

Candice Kemp says it was her husband’s dream to serve. She is six months pregnant. Video: Raahil Sain/ANA

Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, said that a committed compatriot was lost and the killing of a cop could never be justified. 

Rabie saluted Kemp’s bravery adding that the officer never hesitated to answer a call of duty to sacrifice.

Earlier this week, Kemp and four armed robbers were shot dead after officers foiled a brazen daylight robbery at a Port Elizabeth bakery.

During the shootout, Constable Kemp was shot in the upper body and was taken in a critical condition to hospital where he later died. 

It was alleged that members of the PE Flying Squad received a complaint of an armed robbery in progress at a bakery on the corner of Parliament and Rose Street in Central PE.

When police arrived at the scene shots were fired and officers returned fire. 

Four of the suspects, who were in the shop, were shot dead during the exchange of gunfire. 

Rabie declined to comment on the progress of the investigation or if there were any leads on the fifth suspect who managed to evade arrest. 

He said that the case had now been taken over by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks). 

Police Minister Bheki Cele is expected to attend Kemp’s funeral which will take place at NG Church PE Hoogland in Charlo on Saturday. 

African News Agency (ANA)